Community night, open house, curriculum night,… the bottomline is, they are all “meet the teachers” night. It’s not as hard as “meet the parents” (I recall there was a movie with that name).
Because of pandemic, last few years, meet the teachers have mostly virtual or drive through, to avoid large crowd etc. And I certainly understand that. Now that it seems things are gradually back to normal, meet the teachers are in person again, which is cool or dare I say, better than the virtual or a few minutes “hey bye” at the parking lot etc.
I noticed Serenity 7th grade Spanish teacher’s new approach, she said instead of the kids memorizing the vocabulary: she removed as much constraints as possible and encourage kids to use the Spanish as much in the classroom as possible. In other words she allows the kids to make tense (past tense etc.) or grammar mistakes. I am familiar with the previous approach she mentioned, because that’s essentially how we learned English in our middle school when I was in China (1980s). In my middle school we wrote the English words everyday, as our counselor said that’s the only way we can remember the spelling. He said this is like a snowball, because on the 1st day we wrote the new words encountered during the 1st day, and then on the 2nd day we need to write both the 1st and 2nd day’s words, and so on. Pretty soon we will have a large sheet of paper. But sometimes we cheated, because we know the counselor wouldn’t examine each page carefully, and one crazy way I learned is one kid wrote via two pens at the same time, in other words, he wrote twice as much if we assume he could wrote as fast.
I think the social studies class is also fun. So instead of memorizing, she asked a lot questions, and encourage kids to research and discover knowledge. The most unusual class, at least I never had when I was in middle or high school, is the industrial technology class, it looks almost like a carpenter shop and it has lots of useful tools, for kids to make things like a wooden clock (I am guessing they buy the electrical quartz clock and battery and put it inside the frame). I also like the leniency policy in Math in which the kids got to retake tests to improve their scores.
The definition of core and elective sort of reminds me of similar categorization in my middle school. I like it here in general. In China during my days English was important course, in recent years, partially due to politics, English was downgraded in terms of importance. Time changes.
I noticed by walking back and forth the classrooms Serenity goes daily, I got half circle of my movement and exercise rings done 🙂
Last but not least, when we are done, I took bus again back to the high school parking lot. Our hard working bus drivers were still waiting and driving. Then I also realized it’s evening time and the teachers and administrators sacrificed their leisure and family time too.